For those loyal fans that stayed up late (or the many Celtic fans representing the green on the west coast) watching the end of that monstrosity in Phoenix, you got to witness Mortal Kombat, NBA style. After playing a very physical game the night prior in Portland, the Celtics were greeted by the unusual yet similar tactics by the Suns. During the broadcast, Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman brought up an interesting point, raising the idea that now perhaps teams are going to initiate the physical play against the Celtics, rather the other way around.
Cameo color commentator Bill Walton quickly shot that idea down, saying opponents would be foolish to do so. At any rate, things are starting to get out of control. If you missed the game last night (I don't blame you and don't bother trying to watch a replay of it) and only caught the "highlights" on SportsCenter, then you saw Kevin Garnett's junk shot to Channing Frye. Was it a needless and dirty play? Absolutely.
The funny thing is, I didn't see ESPN show a possible reason that led up to KG's low blow. Just a few minutes earlier in the fourth quarter, KG was setting a screen on Mickael Pietrus, and Pietrus decides to unleash his new finishing move on KG by taking a blatant punch/elbow combo to KG's head/throat area. Allow me to channel a little bit of Tommy Heinsohn into the argument here.
After Pietrus clearly and intentionally decked KG, he was rightfully issued a flagrant foul. There was no review of the play, just the issued foul, two free throws, the Celtics retained possession and play resumed. Yet, on the KG/Frye/junk shot, Steve Javie delayed the game for what seemed like an extra half hour to issue two technicals to KG, toss him from the game and the Suns had a parade at the free throw line with what has to be a record of six consecutive free throws.
Look, I'm not going to argue that what KG did was acceptable by any measure. But what Pietrus did was by far worse, considering he went right for his head. Also, I have to agree with what Donny Marshall said in the Celtics' post-game show: Frye must have cuevos of steel to get up THAT quickly after getting hit there. I'm just curious as to why there was a delay and video review on that play, but not when Pietrus blatantly takes a shot at KG's head while Javie is about oh, two feet next to the play. By no means do I believe in these NBA referee anti-Celtic conspiracy theories, nor do I think Commissioner Stern has it out for them, I just found it a bit odd. Take a look at the both incidents below and you be the judge: